Our Favorite Holiday Traditions at Relish

Happy Holidays! As the year comes to an end and we all take time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, we are sharing our favorite holiday traditions.

My favorite holiday tradition is the annual decorating of the family Christmas tree. This is something that was a big deal for my mother as I was growing up that carried over into my adult life. Regardless of whether the tree was live or artificial, unlighted or prelit or the beverages are hot cocoa or adult in nature, my absolute favorite part is sorting through the ornaments (we have quite a collection) and determining which ones were destined for that year’s tree. We usually trim the tree as a family and often invite close friends to join in the decorating. There’s always holiday music playing in the background. The collective decorating experience allows us to remember previous holidays while officially kicking off this year’s festivities.

Eggnog with nutmeg and bourbon.

Every holiday with my family, especially Christmas, revolves around food. We have done everything from frying turkeys for dinner to having a traditional Sicilian Christmas meal of seafood and pasta. My favorite holiday tradition is the all day process of cooking (and drinking) with family and finally getting to eat Christmas dinner.

My favorite holiday tradition is Sibling Christmas. My wife has many siblings. Each year they get together along with their immediate families and we dress up according to the theme that year and have a white elephant gift exchange party. I’ve been a part of fun themes such as video game characters, Duck Dynasty, famous duos/trios, Christmas Vacation and this year we are doing 90s TV show characters. Fun times!

In our family, we celebrate Chanukah, but we also enjoy opportunities to share in our friends’ holidays, too. Exchanging gifts, cooking, eating and drinking, singing songs, staring up at a star-lit sky and shining what light we can into these longest nights of the year, together – these are the traditions that connect us all and I love them.

My favorite holiday tradition is the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve, and opening the rest on Christmas day. My family would gather around the tree when I was a kid and we would select one present to open and play with. I would always go for the present that looked the most visually interesting, in hopes that it was a cool present.

My favorite holiday tradition is enjoying all the delicious food and going to the movies to see a matinee of Star Wars.

As a mom of two little ones, my favorite tradition is now Elf on the Shelf! We have two elves, Ollie and Snowflake, who travel as a pair to keep an eye on the kids during the Christmas season. Our elves aren’t as adventurous as some, but they do show up in different locations each morning once they’ve made their nightly trek to the North Pole to report to Santa. The sheer joy our children get searching for them every morning is fun but their belief in the magic of Christmas is the absolute best part.

Traditionally my family has always traveled to Jackson, MS to celebrate Christmas. When my brother and I got older and grew out of the Santa Claus phase, we started a tradition of celebrating Christmas in Atlanta a few days before we traveled. From my parent’s perspective, they were relieved that they didn’t have to continue lugging and hiding gifts on a 6-hour road trip, but for my brother and I, we were getting two Christmases! Now that we’re adults, we still continue to get together a few days before the actual holiday to come together as a family, eat, share laughs and exchange gifts.